Category Archives: DirectX 7

The Sims On Holiday

Or The Sims Vacation in simplified English

The expansion is very similar to Hot Date in which many game elements were revamped. With a new social interaction system, revised user interface, and a new vacation island area with additional sub lots. Whilst Hot Date introduced the concept of sims leaving their lots to go downtown, here sims can actually stay on these lots for an extended period of time, depending on how much money they have.

New interactions exclusive to On Holiday are released that allow sims to invite each other to play games based on the new objects added, like playing archery, volleyball or fishing. In addition, some of the new interactions from hot dates are added.

Holidays allow for sims to take a break from their schedule, as they are not required to work or go to school and dance sims in the first game have no concept of days off or weekends, this expansion allows sims to go off and do other stuff without having to worry about their jobs as they can stay on holiday indefinitely.

Vacation Island

There are three types of vacation lots available, each with a different environment:

  • Beach Lots: Set on your typical beach/seaside, sims can sleep in a hotel located on the lot which will each have a bed and a bathroom. Sims can swim in these areas or play volleyball and can rent sandcastle kits.
  • Forest Lots: Simulates a camping lot, here your sims are set near woodland and have the option to camp in a tent or rent a log cabin. These lots typically feature a campfire
  • Snow Lots: Set on a Ski/Snow resort, Some lots have an igloo that your sims can sleep in

Each of the three environments has three different resorts that scale to accommodate the budget of the sims traveling there, there is a cheap resort that features only basic amenities, a moderate one that features a mix of both, and a more expensive one that resembles a hotel of sorts.
Sims will need to check in every day at 11:00AM in order to access and use most of the lot facilities. The game will do this automatically unless the sims check out.

Internally, houses 40 – 48 are used or the holiday lots.

NPCs

Whilst On Holiday, sims will encounter NPC sims that will also be on the same resort. These are like townies (Downtown NPCs) of sorts in that the player cannot control but they can be interacted with, and if your sim has a higher enough relationship they can move in. Some families will have an adult but one or more kids, who will also join the family.
This is convenient if you wanted your sim to marry and expand their family quickly without having to go through the baby raising process (Which is horrid in the first Sims)

There are also new NPCs

  • Vacation Director Kana: Just walk around the lot relentlessly 24/7 with a clipboard, you have to admire her dedication. Your sim can ask her questions to find out more on the different features of the expansion.
  • Mascots, there are three in total but only one will show up on a lot at a time. The mascot will vary based on the lot environment, beach lots will get the Marky Sharky mascot (If only they got the Marky Mark mascot instead. Berry Yeti is present on the Snow lots and Archie Archer is on the forest lots. They can only be interacted by kids. This makes them annoying since they will constantly try to play with the kid, even if they are busy.
  • Janitor: Cleans up dirty items on the lot. They’re a bit too keen as they will immediately come and will sometimes block the doorway

Objects

A lot of these are intended for use on holiday lots, but can be used in the home buy mode catalog. As introduced in the Hot Date expansion, subcategories are introduced in buy mode which allows for better organization of custom objects.

KampRite Instant Campfire

Volleyball

Redwood Hot Tub

A hot tub that seats two sims, adults only. Very similar to the one introduced in Hot Date

Archery

Sims will earn tokens when they win, whih allows them to redeem prizes

Water Ballon Fort

Group activity where sims can throw water balloons

Snowboard Halfpipe

Sims seem to have problems skating without falling down

At least in heaven I can skate

Polar Bear Rug

Wait until PETA sees this…

Snowman

Not a buyable object but sims can build their own snowmen on snowy lots

Snowball Fort

Same as the ballon fort but with snow

Snowslide

Sims can slide, SSX style

Carnival Games

Like the archery game, your sim can earn tokens with they can redeem into prizes. These then become souvenirs when they move back home, which they can display on a dedicated shelf.

Mac OS Version

The expansion was ported to Mac OS and OS X and install’s in the same fashion.

The Sims Hot Date

The third expansion pack and one that brought a major change to the mechanics of the game, the main one being the introduction of community lots and the concept of your sims leaving their lots (well they could technically leave to go to work in the base game)

Also included a nice jazzy soundtrack when editing or vising downtown lots.

Installing the game requires the original game CD, or the House Party disc if that expansion pack is installed, as the game will install the original audio files to the hard drive. Previously the game would stream the audio from the CD to save disc space at the expense of performance.
If installing over the Deluxe Edition expansion pack, the user will need to run the deluxe edition installer before they can play the game, this is because the deluxe edition was released after Hot Date.

No new neighborhoods have been included with this expansion, but if you are missing the created neighbourhoods from the House Party expansion (Hoods 5-8) then the installer will create them for you. They will be typical blank neighborhoods without any houses or premade sims.

Upon starting the game, new sims will be generated. These will be your townies that are used for downtown.

Downtown, a new sub-neighborhood. Each hood has its own version of downtown with its own generated set of townies. Sims cannot visit a downtown from another hood.

The user interface has been updated with new features

Original user interface
From Hot Date onwards

The house meter and the friend’s meter have been removed and have not been replaced. They were removed in favor of adding the inventory and interests panels.
The inventory panel shows objects that are stored by the sims, these can be gifts that have been received by other sims, or prizes won by various games.

Downtown

A new sub-neighborhood, and the first to be included in the Sims engine. There are lots that your sim can visit with other sims.

You can have different themed downtown lots that cater to a specific
Restaurants typically have a podium, a kitchen with a commercial over, and a dining booth or dining table/seats

Shops generally have till’s and can have clothes racks that sims can browse and buy new clothes, or skins as they are referred to. There are also entertainment lots that have activities like pool tables, pinball machines and slot machines

The default lots for Hot Date make use of objects from the base game and the expansion itself, but not objects from other expansions. With this in mind, you can create new downtown lots using objects or themes from other expansions, like a nightclub using the DJ booth and dance floor from House Party. A spare downtown lot exists (23 Wright Way) for this purpose.

Objects

The buy mode catalog has been updated, and new sub-categories have been added to help classify items better. Downtown lots also have their own categories, depending on what type of lot you wish to build. Here objects are sorted into shops, restaurants, outdoor

Niagra Love Tub

A hot tub that can seat two sims, who can cuddle and woohoo play

Dawnette Hooded Stove

An oven that occupies two titles, can be placed downtown and is required to operate a restaurant

Bachmeier Grand Piano

A more expensive piano, placing this downtown will spawn a dedicated piano player NPC

Boggs Home Canning Center

Allows your sim to make preserves at home to sell, also increases the cooking skill

Laguna Vista Instand Pond

A fish pond where your sim can feed fish and place boats, multiple sims can use this

Bel-Air Dining Booth

Sims will sit after they order a meal at the podium, works as part of a restaurant set otherwise function as a regular table and chairs

Kiosk

Items such as flowers, toys, chocolate, and a copy of the game itself are sold here and can be bought by your sim, A cash till nearby is required to order

Food Counters

Two exist, one for ice cream and another for burgers, bars also exist for drinks

Social Interactions

New social interactions have been added, and the social system has been revamped for each sim to better handle interactions. Many have been grouped into one main social interaction, which then has a few sub-interactions. E.g. Talk has the ‘About Interests’, ‘Gossip’ & ‘Brag’ interactions. Entertain has ‘Joke’ and ‘Juggle’ interactions.

Mac Version

Hot Date was later ported to the Mac OS platform and was a Carbon application from the onset which meant support for older Mac OS versions was dropped. Only Mac OS 8.6 onwards and OS X 10.1 is supported.

Nicktoons Racing

Cart base racing game featuring popular Nicktoons of the time, complete with powerups

The opening FMV, and a look at the games menu and track selection screen

The character selection screen, You can choose from:

Rugrats: Tommy & Angelica

Hey Arnold: Arnold & Helga

Wild Thornberry’s: Eliza and Darwin

Spongebob Squarepants: Sprongebob and Patrick

Other playable characters include Ickis from Ahhh Real Monsters, Ren from Ren & Stimpy, Catdog The Angry Beavers, and a Mystery Rider that is unlocked by beating the game.

Tracks

Many tracks are based upon each Nicktoon show and follow the respective art style of that show.

Many of the tracks have shortcuts, which the NPC drivers will use more on a higher difficulty level. There are also many pickups and speed boost pads spread across the track. Some tracks will branch and split into two different section which can vary in speed and difficulty, one path might be shorted but with less pickups, or might have a few tricky bends which have to be navigated.

I’m disappointed they didn’t expand on the Rugrats themed tracks, considering they already released Rugrats games previously, why not have tracks that were based off Search for Reptar? like Toy Palace, or the Mini Golf levels.

Windows

Game can be installed to the hard drive and offers a minimal or a full install, with the full install including the opening FMV and music. At the end the user is given a choice to register their copy of the game.

The PC version benefits from a higher framerate, resolution and texture quality compared to the PlayStation version.

PlayStation

The game was ported to the PlayStation in 2001 and is a straight port of the PC version, with lower resolution graphics. However this version has issues when the CD drive is played at a higher speed and can lead to the opening FMV video skipping, which can also happen with the music. When being played on Duckstation, it is recommended to use the default CD drive speeds (2X/ 300K)

The PlayStation was the only console the game was released on, and did not see a release on any sixth generation console, despite the game being released from 2000-2003

Arcade

An arcade version was released in 2003 and was an adaption of the PC version and was distributed by Chicago Gaming Company

The Sims Livin It Up

Also known as Sims Livin Large, not sure why they changed the title but Livin large sounds like a fat acceptance movement slogan…

The first of many expansion packs for The Sims, and a must-have since the base game was quite barren for content. Let’s see what’s been added:

Multiple neighborhoods can coexist, and the expansion ships with 5 extra goods for up to 50 different lots/families. More can be added by navigating to the games system directory, and creating a new Userdata folder (up to 99 supported). Each hood has its own set of lots and families, and with later expansions, they also have unique NPCs that show up on their lots. Sims from one neighborhood will not appear in another, and the appearance cannot be customized, unless you mod and load an altered bitmap has the hood’s background screen, but I think the game only allows one background bitmap to be set for all hoods. You would still be stuck with the name neighborhood background.

Objects

Genie Lamp: When rubbed, will summon a genie who gives the choice of two wishes. They do have a chance of going wrong.

Here you can choose between two random choices

A nice result, our wish was granted and we got a free high-end TV

Unfortunately, it was the exact same model that we already had.

Wishes can go wrong, I’m not sure on the change (Possibly 50/50) but when a wish backfires it can result in something drastic, like an object being set on fire or overdue bills being spawned. Always save before making a wish

Vibromatic heart bed: A bed that increases comfort and is where the magic happens. Costs 20 to use the vibration function each time which sucks considering its an expensive bed.

Telescope: Can be used to increase the logic skill and satisfies the fun meter. There is a chance your sim can be abducted by aliens. When this happens they will be returned with a new randomized personality.

When an abduction occurs, all sims will walk to the telescope, cry for a minute and then go back to what they were doing.

Moosehead: This shows the current mood of the lot, its ankers are based on the average mood of all sims and is useful for later expansion packs like House party to judge if a party is going well.


The Concatenation Station: A chemistry station where sims can make potions. This is created at random.
Blue: The most likely potion to be made, fills 3 needs bars which are chosen at random
Orange: Sims become invisible for the next 12 hours
Light Green: The one to avoid, this causes nearly all needs to plummet to low levels
Dark Green: Makes an evil clone of your sim who will perform bad interactions with other Sims, causing their relationship to suffer
Red: Makes a random sim fall in love with them
Purple: Turns your sim into a monster
White: Will cure any sickness, only creatable by a sick sim
Yellow: Inverts the Sims personality for all points
Creating any potions runs the risk of a visit from the police complaining about the smell, and you may be fined. The chemistry table also has a risk of exploding and must be repaired before it can be reused, this will not cause a fire.

Servo: A robot that acts as the Maid, Gardiner and repairman all in one NPC, one of the most expensive objects in the game. However he has to be manually turned on by your sim, he doesn’t come out automatically when a mess has been made but he can be instructed to serve meals.

Voodoo doll: This can be used by sims to annoy or frustrate another sim which results in their comfort level dropping. Useful to get rid of unwanted guests (Not NPCs)

The little bugger itself (not the sim), be careful when you own this

The gerbil painting, helps cure the disease.

Whilst your sims cannot communicate with the dead, or look into the future, Instead your sims will be given a mini-quest, of which they will be rewarded with a change of personality.

NPCs

Grim Reaper: Appears when a sim has died, can be pled with who will either ignore, resurrect the sim, or resurrect them as a zombie.

Monster: Resembles Frankenstein, Should your sim drink a specific potion, they will temporally turn into a monster and will break all items on the lot and will need to be repaired, But they seem to like painting, If there is an easel on the lot they will paint until they turn back.

Tragic Clown: Appears when your sims has the tragic clown painting and your sim is in a bad mood. If installing on a fresh install, his painting will appear on prebuilt lots.

The tragic clown in action. The only advantage he brings is you can socialize with him to boost your social motive, otherwise he will become a hindrance since he will wake your sim up if they’re sleeping.

Other additions

New floors and walls have been added that allow you to theme your Sims houses as if they were from a certain period, there’s a medieval look, or a retro 50/60s look to an interpreted future theme, complete with teleports that act as stairs or spaceship-like doors.

Sickness: Guinea pig, this was one of the more controversial features that were added to this expansion pack, since it’s possible for your sim to get sick and die which was not known to many players at the time leaving them to wonder why their sims kept randomly dying since the game only informer when your sim has died, but not the cause of death. This disease is caused by having your sim play with the guinea pig whilst it’s either hungry or if its cage is dirty. Once your sim has been bitten their energy motive will begin to decay faster, and sims will start coughing and sneezing. To cure, the ill sim must have plenty of rest and motives should be kept as high as possible.
The disease is contagious and can be passed to other sims via contact.

Roaches: Another annoying feature, they appear if your lot is dirty. If there are dirty dishes or a lot of trash on the lot.

The Sims Deluxe Edition

This SKU was introduced in 2002 and replaces The Sims, And the Livin It up Expansion pack since it combines content from the two games. This became the new base game as the previous titles were discontinued, and further deluxe bundles were introduced in specific markets that combined certain expansion packs, like Triple Deluxe which bundles House party and On Holiday.

The neighborhood screen has been slightly altered with the top bar being added for use with future expansion packs (Hot Date and On Holiday)

Deluxe Edition also comes bundled with the Sims Creator which is used for creating Sims faces for use in the game. You can also import a photo and paste it onto a Sims head for use in the game. Also, most downloadable objects that were released on the EA website were included, but not the downloadable families like the Hatfield’s or the Jones. Deluxe edition still ships with the premade sims, including the Mashuga’s from the Living It Up expansion.

Version information and the build date

Mac OS Version

The expansion was later released on the Mac OS platform and installed in a similar fashion to the PC version. If the user has multiple copies of The Sims installed, they are prompted to select the folder they wish to install.

Like the original game, Livin Large only supported classic Mac OS, with a Carbon update being released later for compatibility with Mac OS X